I read Man’s Search For Meaning.
In the book, Man’s Search For Meaning, Sir Viktor E. Frankl writes “Former prisoners , when writing or relating their experiences, agree that the most depressing influence of all was that a prisoner could not know how long his term of imprisonment would be.”
I cannot help but madly correlate this to life of an average man. While I have closely read his account of the horrors of his experiences in a concentration camp and god I am beyond grateful to be able to read about it in a cozy bedroom with a warm cup of tea , or while I am out in the sun having a good time. The thought of comparing his work to the life of an average man does no justice at all, especially a man who has everything structured and invented to his comfort by each passing day. Yet today , after I read those lines I cannot help but see that we are all prisoners of life. We are imprisoned to death and we do not know it coming. We are entitled to suffering and we are supposed to find meaning in that suffering and that is how life is supposed to be a whole. Depressing as it may sound, life couldn’t be more simpler than this. We will always suffer as long as we are living.
Suffering to me, could be joy to you. It is a widely relative entity in terms of magnitude as well as opinion but it is inevitable at all costs. So now that we know we have got to suffer no matter what we choose to do and in the authors case, no matter which camp he went to, what is something we can do to actually embrace it with courage ?
We can face it, so suffering doesn’t turn into fear. In the book, the author, of all people has never hesitated to take up the opportunity to risk his life (regardless of his friends telling him not to , or them saving him) or do the right thing, he’s got lucky too but he has hardly been dependent on getting lucky. Likewise, the least we can do in life is take responsibility for our actions rather than letting ourselves become victim to those circumstances of suffering.
It is really easy to dwell in suffering and spend a life telling ourselves that we will be happy as soon as this thing is over , or the next or this debt is taken care of, but that’s not the truth. Suffering completes the cycle of life itself and to be truly happy, we have to make the best out of those circumstances regardless of the sorrow or pain.
How do I suffer less ?
I tend to answer this only from my perspective and the little knowledge I have, which could change overtime.
The only way to suffer less I believe, is to take responsibility, of yourself. There are only a numbered amount of things you can shape in life( I refrain from using the word control because I believe we have control over almost nothing) , the most important being you. A lot of us suffer in life because we procrastinate the work we are meant to do now. Now that sounds like a hard call out, trust me I procrastinate the most and I am only putting it out because its true.
So let’s break it down, WHY DO WE PROCRASTINATE? …. It is because we are afraid that we will not have the desired outcome in the work we are supposed to be doing. So we choose to not do it at all until we HAVE to do it. This is the cause of suffering for most of the people of my generation-Z.
We keep worrying about the feeling of extreme worry we will have if we do not do a certain task. Re-read it. We spend so much time worrying unnecessarily. Our brain has compounded ancestor-lly (that is most probably not a word) to be paranoid , one of the outcomes of which is pessimism. So we think and think about things, take out the worst possible outcomes(cause the brain is programmed to think that way) and after analyzing and evaluating those, decide to rather doomscrool and forget about those worries for a while.
Suffering is inevitable, I repeat, but if we take responsibility and stop running away from it, the magnitude of it decreases from a beast to maybe a kitten we can pet.
In the book, the author states that man’s inner strength may raise him from his outer fate and be it naively or so I would want to believe that the inner strength he talks about comes from gratefulness of being where we are and for the things we have and the opportunities we get in the circumstances we are provided with. I think life is about making the best of what we have knowing its fate that takes charge after you’ve given your whole. There’s beauty in that and beauty of being grateful can sometimes save you from the horrors of maybe not a gas chamber but living a life in self pity.